The summer and fall edition of Race Pace Training Diaries follows Jess D, a Race Pace Runner, training for the 2014 New York City Marathon with the goal of becoming a faster runner and setting a new Personal Record. Learn more about Jess and her goals here.
Hi guys! Wanted to update you on my NCYM experience. Race week was awesome! Between the expo, taking my dad for a Central Park stroll and seeing all the Dash to the Finish Line runners kicking off the weekend- I loved every minute of it.
Sunday arrived before I knew it and I planned to head to Fort Wadsworth with fellow Race Pace Runner, Angela. It was great having her with me for the journey. We calmed each other’s nerves and runchatted the entire way.
When it was time to load onto the Verrazano I felt nervous but also excited. I knew this course like the back of my hand and was anxious to see all my friends & family along the way. The winds on the top of the bridge were rough, but Angela & I pushed through and only managed to get whacked in the face by several pieces of throwaway gear that was windblown. Awesome haha.
The first 10 miles actually went great and I was perfectly on pace for my race plan. Then things got interesting. Around mile 10.5 I got a severe cramp on my left side that almost made me buckle over. From 10.5 to mile 15 I tried to run it off but it kept coming back. By the time I hit the Queensboro Bridge I couldn’t take it anymore. I pulled to the side of the bridge and vomited L. Not my proudest moment. But if it had to happen, that was actually a pretty decent place- I was out of the way of other runners & there weren’t spectators on the bridge either, so it didn’t bother (or gross out) anyone. I told myself to keep smiling. You are running the NYC Marathon. Who cares if you just lost your breakfast on the side of a bridge!
I re-started my run but felt slightly out of it. Thankfully, those 1st avenue crowds were just a few minutes away and they picked me right back up. At Mile 19 I spotted Jess and she ran alongside of me and gave me a little pep talk which was much needed at that point considering I was literally “running on empty.”
The Bronx & Fifth Avenue were rough, but I knew the end was in sight at that point. Once I hit Central Park I felt back “home.” The place where I had trained basically every day for the past 16 weeks. I spotted my Dad and two close friends one last time as I rounded Columbus Circle and made my descent to the finish line. Happy heart.
When I crossed the finish I felt a mixed bag of emotions. I had no clue what my time was since my Garmin had died at mile 23. I honestly think I might have still been in shock from the cramping/vomiting episode and hadn’t fully processed it yet. I followed the death march out of Central Park and reunited with my friends & family in Time Warner Center. I was a 3x marathoner.
I had an AMAZING group of friends, family & co-workers following me throughout the course on Sunday. Every single person who saw me was shocked to hear that I had not only fought a cramp for 5 miles but that I threw up along the way. They said I looked strong and that my smile couldn’t have been any larger.
This outpouring of support has continued all week. I returned to work this past Tuesday and arrived to the coolest surprise. 26 balloons for 26 miles and a card signed by my entire team.
While this day didn’t go exactly as I planned, I’m celebrating another type of victory right now. When I started training with Jess I was in a bit of a running rut. I felt like I had hit a plateau, and was delivering mediocre results and getting really frustrated with myself. When things didn’t go my way, I couldn’t mentally get passed it. But now, I KEEP ON RUNNING.
What’s next on my running horizon? Ted Corbitt, Fred Lebow and the NYC Half. Who knows, maybe I’ll even throw a spring marathon into the mix. My heart is on fire and I don’t plan on putting it out any time soon.
So thank you NYC. Thank you for showing me once again what an amazing city you are. Thank you for my five borough journey. Thank you for this incredible running community you introduced me to. Thank you for bringing out the best in so many people. And thank you for my 2 minute PR, vomit and all.